digital transformation

Digital Marketing Transformation in the COVID-19 Era

Imagine you wake up one day and all the business, marketing and live events you are gone. Before COVID (BC) communication and human engagement was a mix if in-person interaction plus other marketing channels supporting their efforts.  From an SEO standpoint, last week SEO companies saw huge drops in organic traffic for most industries we are tracking. Just look at the chart below (compares last week to the previous week).

covid decline in seo

State of marketing and COVID

B2B companies and the healthcare industry in particular rely on the annual circuit of trade shows and conferences to network and build customer relations. In industries that are not digital-native, they may also be less sophisticated in their digital growth and customer relations strategies. For smaller businesses especially, used to getting new customers through word-of-mouth referrals or on the strength of a hard-won reputation, their loss is coming as a shock. 

“Adapt or Die” seem to be truer now than ever before. A key factor in surviving is adaptability. If it’s standard in your industry to go out and meet new customers face-to-face before you do business, adapting may mean opening new channels over web or social media platforms where introductions can be made and relationships fostered.

Now that companies are making the switch to digital marketing at an insane rate, they will see the benefits and opportunities that digital channels can offer, this will become part of their long-term marketing plans.

Digital options

With offerings like immersive 3D virtual events, Buzznation found that businesses want to become more sophisticated in their use of live social platforms. Clients are turning to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn Live for interactive social options. Often these are platforms they have dabbled with in the past but never fully integrated into their marketing strategy. Now they see value in partnering with companies like us that know how to help them make the most of these channels, to achieve better production values and more targeted campaigns.”

While human interaction cannot be overstated, the digital trends that need to be noted are as follows:

  • Interactive content with video/polls/gamification
  • Podcasts
  • AR/VR
  • Virtual booths and conferences
  • Social media
  • Video conference with collaborative tools

The trends above are what we’ve been seeing as logical and effective transitions from live to virtual environment. They all offer short term transition as well as long term effectiveness. They provide enduring content that is easily consumed. And long term could mean the next few years since the economy could take years to recover. If you look at past drops in the stock market it can take time to recover.

Conclusion

There is no turning back from the path we are headed in marketing communications and human interaction. While things head back to normal, it will be a new normal. Where large conferences once reigned, there will continue to be a need for digital communications as many will not participate as the did before COVID. There will be live events with supporting digital tactics. The efforts and investment you make today in digital communications will provide an enduring relationship.

Bonus

Here’s an example of virtual conferences for look and feel.

I’m not a huge Facebook fan but these commercials i think are great for marketing their groups, which have great social interaction.

About the author

An experienced and innovative digital marketer that has an outstanding background in all facets of multi-channel marketing that ranges from strategic planning, brand marketing, social media enthusiast to digital consulting for business.